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Tanzania to become largest soda ash producer in Africa
20
Mar '14
East African nation of Tanzania is set to become the largest soda ash producer in Africa after the latest discovery of the compound in Arusha region’s Engaruka Basin, reports Daily News.
 
Soda ash, known chemically as sodium carbonate, is used in textile industry for dyeing cotton and other cellulose fibres such as linen, rayon, tencel or hemp, to increase the pH (alkalinity) of the reaction. 
 
The new soda ash project in Engaruka Basin will have an annual capacity of one million cubic metres. This project, along with the ongoing Lake Natron project would increase Tanzania’s total soda ash production capacity to around 1.5 million cubic metres, surpassing the capacity of Kenya.
 
Addressing a press conference in Dar-es-Salaam, Abel Ngapemba, corporate affairs manager with the National Development Corporation (NDC), said the exploration at Engaruka Basin has found total brine deposits of about 4.7 billion cubic metres.
 
The discovery of soda ash at Engaruka Basin is expected to encourage setting up of industries and infrastructure development, which in turn would create job opportunities and contribute to improving living standards of the people in the regions adjoining to the project, Mr. Ngapemba said.
 
According to the NDC, the leading agency in Tanzania for implementing strategic industrial development projects in partnership with the private sector, the soda ash discovered at Engaruka Basin is of the best quality in the world.
 
At present, NDC is in search of a consultant to undertake socio-technical study and environment impact assessment (EIA) for the project. It is also on the lookout for an investor to pursue the project further.
 
Lake Natron is a shallow soda-lake in a closed basin on the floor of the Eastern Rift Valley. It extends 58 km south from the Kenyan border with a mean width of 15 km.  On the other hand, Engaruka is a shallow depression in the Rift Valley 50 km north-north-east of Lake Manyara and 58 km south south-east of Lake Natron.
 

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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